Re: The Changing Times
I suppose that if you wanted to be a full-time musician, it would be a good idea to learn all forms and idioms of music. As a full time musician, you'll be doing gigs for other bands, doing studio work, commercial jingles, Broadway pit orchestras, etc.
Nobody with any sense would argue the fact that it is technique that helps express what the ear and the inner mind hears. However, my gripe has always been with the players who had the chops, and still could not play a simple song, or couldn't swing.
As for me, I'm not a full-time muisician. I am a full-time music student. I just love to play. I am a semi-professional because I have a group I work with on the weekends or odd weekday, while I spend the rest of my time slinging cocktails and beer. However, this gives me the freedom to play the music I like playing to people who want to hear it.
Do I regret the fact that I may not be able to play like a Sonny Fortune? No, because he can't play like me, and I don't mean this in an egotistical or disrespectful way, because Sonny is a friend and one of the more original improvisors I've seen live. What I am saying is that the way I play my horn is not the same as he does, and that's the way I like it. Jazz is supposed to be about originality.
As for the top percentage of players, who are they? I know names that you might give me, but if they're the best in what they do, they wouldn't be best at everything, only in what they do. Music should not be compared to athletics. If it's only about who can run the fastest and jump the highest, then the music will suffer, and it will only become a competition, wth players only playing and excelling not for the love of the sport, but for the big money, like modern athletes.